Czech Government postpones discussions on Roma Holocaust memorial
Today the Czech Government postponed until next week its discussion of a proposal by the Czech Education Ministry not to erect an international conference center on the site of the former WWII-era concentration camp for Roma at Hodonín by Kunštát. Due to budget cuts, Czech Education Minister Josef Dobeš (Public Affairs - VV) suggested to the government that a memorial to the victims of the Roma Holocaust be erected instead of a center. The Czech Press Agency reports that the agenda item was postponed because Czech Foreign Minister Karel Schwarzenberg (TOP 09) could not be present at today's cabinet session and had advised the cabinet that he wants to express himself on the matter.
Last summer the Education Ministry promised to find money for the center. The Museum of Roma Culture has also been counting on the new space, which was supposed to become the world's first information center on the Roma Holocaust.
"Construction of the large International Educational and Conference Center on a far-off site in the forest is not an economical option. Above all, it would be unsustainable without permanent increases in state investment," a recent ministry press release said.
The ministry is said to have enough education spaces around the country to manage already. "A memorial will also augment, in a dignified way, the remembrance site administered by the Museum of Roma Culture," officials said.
The Czech Government decided to build the conference center two years ago and approved CZK 98.5 million to purchase and rebuild the Žalov recreation center located on the site of the former camp for Roma people. The ministry, however, has only purchased the center grounds and wants to use the remaining CZK 71 million to build a monument and access road and to repair the landscaping.
The Brno-based Museum of Roma Culture was meant to have been closely involved in the creation of the center. However, the new memorial proposed by the Education Ministry would instead be a detached workplace of the J. A. Komenský Pedagogical Museum, which falls under the ministry's administration. If the government blesses the plan, the ministry would then prepare a final project and budget in collaboration with academics and other experts on the Roma issue.
- Czech Agency for Social Inclusion accuses paper of anti-Romani campaign
- Help Romea.cz win support from Vodafone
- Czech Republic and "gypsies" - 1938 vs. 2012
- Czech Republic: Equal Opportunities Party to protest local-level anti-Romani moves
- Czech mayor: Romani people face lynching unless rape suspect taken into custody
- Czech municipality gets tough on Ostrava ghetto residents again
- Czech Republic: Proud Romani students in IT, medicine, and natural sciences
- Prosecutor: Czechs started last year's brawl with Romani people in Rumburk
- Roma Pride 2012 marches through the center of Prague
- Czech Republic: 70 ultra-rightists march on Romani neighborhood
- Czech Republic: Project commemorates postwar Romani labor
- European experts compare experiences working in socially excluded localities